New Mexico FBIHOP: Damaging Audio of C. de Baca Emerges

New Mexico FBIHOP (9/23/08)

Damaging Audio of C. de Baca Emerges

While the full audio of Fernando C de Baca speaking to a BBC Reporter at the State Fair last week may never emerge, some damaging audio from a BBC interview has been broadcast on KSFR-FM, a Santa Fe radio station.Southern New Mexico blogger Heath Haussamen was the first with the audio, which you can hear to the right.

Here is what C de Baca said in the KSFR audio:

I feel strongly that Hispanics will not support, in my generation and the generation around my age, are not going to support the Democratic candidate for president primarily because there is a strong feeling that African Americans during the civil rights movement took advantage, full advantage, of all the benefits and programs that the government offered, that were supposed to be offered to all minorities. But we were left behind, we were left sucking air, and we resented that ever since the 60s, and I don’t see how a black president is going to change that.

StuffWhitePeopleDo: associate non-white people with pollution

StuffWhitePeopleDo (9/22/08)

associate non-white people with pollution

This common white reaction was recently clarified for me as a kind of unspoken (and even unthought) feeling by Kristen Myers’ book, Racetalk: Racism Hiding in Plain Sight. Working at various times with a total of sixty-three undergraduate student researchers, Myers compiled over six hundred examples of “racetalk,” which she defines as spoken language that contains “the vocabulary and conceptual frameworks that we use to denigrate different races and ethnicities in our everyday lives.”

Myers’ larger point is that instances of such talk are not mere acts of individual racism; rather, they help form a larger societal network or structure. The racism expressed in “racetalk” consists of feelings, thought, and language that help to maintain both divisive boundaries between groups of people, and the various institutions that oppress non-white people.

In a section of her book called “Pollution,” Myers provides numerous examples, gathered by her small army of student researchers, of language that indicates “how people believed that the contaminating effect of ‘otherness’ was contagious, and [how] they avoided being associated with it.”

Basically, this post is my effort to answer that same question. And many others that are just like it. With the help of Kristen Myers, I can answer that white people say things like that because of a feeling they have. This feeling is a common, subdued revulsion at the thought of non-white people. Especially the thought of large numbers of them (such the “hordes” of “Mexicans” who are supposedly “streaming across the border”). It’s an instilled, fearful conception of supposedly dirty people with supposedly dirty habits, who threaten to contaminate cleaner, “whiter” spaces, as well as the white people in them.

And then there’s Myers’ larger point, about how such “racetalk” and the feelings that provoke it help to maintain structures of power in society. I can just imagine how this contaminating part of the collective white psyche is going to manifest itself for a lot of people in November. That’s when American voters will be asked who belongs in another fantasized, highly symbolic space of abstract cleanliness—the White House.

ABCNews: Blacks’ Political Engagement Spikes, Though Racial Divisions Remain Deep

ABCNews (9/23/08)

Blacks’ Political Engagement Spikes, Though Racial Divisions Remain Deep

Barack Obama’s candidacy for president both underscores sharp racial divides in this country and offers avenues for progress: Political engagement by blacks is up sharply, Americans across racial lines think the 2008 campaign will change blacks’ self-image for the better and most see Obama’s nomination as a sign of broader racial progress.

Click here for a PDF with charts and full questionnaire.

Blacks split evenly, 45-46 percent, on whether they think of themselves first as blacks or as Americans (with black identity higher among blacks who’ve experienced discrimination). Hispanics divide similarly on the question – 42 percent think of themselves as Hispanics first, 50 percent as Americans. Whites are different: Ninety-one percent see themselves first as Americans, while just 4 percent profess greater racial than national identity.

Politicker MA: Dukakis: McCain using same race tactics as ‘Willie Horton’ ad

Politicker MA (9/23/08)

Dukakis: McCain using same race tactics as ‘Willie Horton’ adsy

Former Gov. Michael Dukakis said Monday that John McCain’s presidential campaign is using the same race-based tactics that were used against him in his 1988 presidential run.

The Brookline Democrat was referring to a recent McCain ad that claimed Democratic nominee Barack Obama received economic advice from Franklin Raines, the former CEO of the recently bailed out mortgage lender Fannie Mae. The ad features images of Raines and Obama, two African Americans, and then an image of an elderly white woman.

Asked if he considered the ad to be in the same vein as the infamous ‘Willie Horton’ ad ad run by a third party group in support of George H.W. Bush in the 1988 presidential campaign, Dukakis told “Essentially, yes.”

HipHop Republicans: Post-Racial Politics? Not Quite.

HipHop Republicans (9/23/08)

Post-Racial Politics? Not Quite.

In the Sunday, September 14th edition of the Washington Post, my Professor, Randall Kennedy, spoke to “The Big ‘What If,'” outlining the potential fallout should Senator Barack Obama lose this race for the presidency.

Professor Kennedy speaks to Black anxiety regarding the seemingly all-but-inevitable conclusion that should Obama lose, it will be because of “a vague, sophisticated, low-key prejudice that is chameleonlike in its ability to adapt to new surroundings and to hide even from those firmly in its grip.”

As an African-American supporting Senator John McCain this election cycle, I find it hard to believe that I am the unwitting victim of a subconscious racism that motivates my work against Senator Obama. In fact, like many young minority Republicans, I see Senator Obama as a role model. I will never look to question his accomplishments, his motivations, his patriotism or the historical significance of his run. But that does not keep many African-Americans from questioning my commitment to our community or the authenticity of my “Blackness” for differing with the good Senator on the issues. It would seem that this low-key prejudice and racism is present and active on both sides of the aisle.

Little Green Footballs: Dukakis Complains

Little Green Footballs (99/23/08)

Dukakis Complains

This election is bringing back bad memories for Michael Dukakis.

Former Gov. Michael Dukakis said Monday that John McCain’s presidential campaign is using the same race-based tactics that were used against him in his 1988 presidential run. …

Asked if he considered the ad to be in the same vein as the infamous ‘Willie Horton’ ad ad run by a third party group in support of George H.W. Bush in the 1988 presidential campaign, Dukakis told “Essentially, yes

COlorado Independent: Latinos: Economic scapegoats or election deciders?

Colorado Independent (9/23/08)

Latinos: Economic scapegoats or election deciders?

Do bad economic times mean an increase in deportation or at least anti-immigrant sentiments? Some Latino activists fear history will repeat itself as Americans are faced with an increasingly shaky economy and look for scapegoats beyond Wall Street.

As The Sun, a San Bernardino, Calif., newspaper reports:

During the Great Depression, one-third of the country’s Mexican population was deported or pressured to return home. Many of them were American citizens.

The recession of the early 1950s forced nearly 3 million Mexicans to be sent home as a consequence of “Operation Wetback.”

A similar economic and financial meltdown could precipitate another massive deportation and removal program, activists say.